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Boost Your Dealership Reputation With Employee Recognition

Danielle Rainwater, Reputation Management Specialist
by Danielle Rainwater, Reputation Management Specialist

For many dealerships, employee recognition is very important and there are many ways a company can choose to do this. When a dealership implements an employee recognition program properly it can be highly effective at retaining good employees and peaking performance. It will constantly remind employees the impact that they have on maintaining their dealership’s high standards for excellent customer service. And it can have a lasting impact on your dealership reputation management. Here are a few ideas that some dealerships have implemented that you may want to consider for your dealership.

1. Bulletin Board

A bulletin board in the break room for all staff to view is a great place to post feedback when an employee is given positive customer feedback on the dealership website or on any review site. Many dealers have found this to be one of the most effective ways to share positive customer feedback and identify highly achieving staff members.

2. Big Screen

Display the latest positive customer feedback on a screen (could be a television) in the Sales and/or Service lobbies to showcase the great feedback other customers have shared about your dealerships employees.

I was recently visiting a dealership and they were playing The Price is Right on the waiting room television. The Reputation Management Specialist in me kept thinking, “Isn’t this is an opportunity for them to replace this with positive customer feedback, photos or videos for their customers to see.” In fact, someone on my team spotted this at a Volkswagen dealership:

Couldn’t you picture having customer reviews showing at the bottom of this screen?

You may already be using videos in your advertising as Auburn Volkswagen does. Why not incorporate that into customer waiting areas to highlight your staff. When a customer is waiting to talk to a sales person, wouldn’t it be great if that customer sees a great review about that sales person to reaffirm with that new customer that they made the right choice by coming to your dealership.

Tip: Combine feedback with quick tips and hints to help remind sales and service staff how important it is to deliver high level customer service at all times.

3. Weekly Sales Staff Meetings

Review online customer feedback from the past week in your morning staff meetings with your managers. Mondays are the best time to get the team together for weekly feedback and give accolades for positive online reviews.

Tip: Make sure this praise is not just highlighting a few high-performing staff members. Be sure to include the employees who received reviews and encourage the entire staff to continue to provide excellent customer service while keeping customers aware of where they can leave an online review.

4. Letter from the Boss

After positive online feedback is received, the General Manager should write a personal letter to the recognized staff member(s) thanking them for their service and hard work. If needed, a dealership can set a specific number of positive reviews required in order to receive a such a letter.

A dealership I spoke with recently has taken it one step further and made it a little more personal. The general manager would go up to the employee personally and shake their hand to thank them for the great service they provide to their customers.

Tip: A proper and customized letter of thanks from a manager has much more impact than a quick automated email that goes out to all sales and service staff.

5. Customer Success Stories

Provide a way for sales and service staff to share customer success stories with management. Management could choose a select few to share in weekly or monthly meetings as well.

Tip: Feedback from customers is provided every day. Ensure all staff is aware of this feedback and what customers are sharing. This is a way of promoting healthy internal competition and encourages staff to strive for success.

Jeff Temples, BDC Manager of Carl Black Chevrolet Buick GMC of Orlando recently spoke about an experience his salesperson, Chris Craig, had. The quote speaks for itself on how important providing great customer service is and how influential customer feedback can be.

Globoforce, a leading force in Employee Recognition today in both the U.S. and Europe, states that “More than half of companies with recognition programs also observe higher levels of employee engagement, retention, and productivity,” and that “Sixty-four percent of companies that have an employee recognition program say their employees are rewarded according to job performance versus just 36 percent of organizations who do not have a recognition program in place.”

There are many more examples of dealers who have started to do more in order to recognize the efforts of their employees and encourage positive customer feedback. Carl Black came up with their own way to highlight customer feedback. What are you going to do at your dealership? Please share your success stories with me.

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About the Author

Danielle Rainwater, Reputation Management Specialist Danielle Rainwater She started in December 2012 after graduating from the University of Puget Sound. Danielle remains one of the original members of the GM Primary Reputation Management Solution. She started driving on the roads of Puyallup Washington in her 2001 Pontiac Sunfire but today you can find her cruising the smooth streets of Queen Anne (Seattle) in her 2012 KIA Forte Koup, yup thats right, a KIA and she loves her little car! When she isn’t spending her time helping dealers increase their online reputation you can find her at a local happy hour with her girlfriends, in the gym or at home catching up on her Netflix shows. You can reach out to Danielle directly at

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Tags: Automotive, Best, Dealership, Loyalty, Management, Marketing, Practices, Reputation, Reviews


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Comment by Alexander Lau on August 28, 2014 at 6:57am

*CRICKETS.... *Sigh

Comment by Alexander Lau on August 27, 2014 at 6:49am

Cobalt, I posted a comment on your site @ and you delete it. You've got to talk platforms and how Emplified impacts your current ideas.

Comment by Alexander Lau on August 27, 2014 at 6:36am

Yes, but better yet, use a tool like Emplified, which is an employee-led engagement platform. Emplified empowers employees to proactively amplify their skills, accomplishments and needs within their workplace while providing managers with better visibility into the capabilities, progress and needs of their teams.

Do you want to create a stronger connection with your team?

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